Florida general election guide


GovernorThis is a matchup of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Republican governor, and, most recently, former St. Petersburg Congressman, Charlie Crist. DeSantis has been driving a strongly conservative agenda, often attacking President Joe Biden’s administration on immigration and other issues. Crist has been an ardent supporter of the president and has made restoring abortion rights in Florida a top priority in his campaign. An average of recent polls has DeSantis ahead by six to seven points.U.S. SenateRepublican two-term Sen. Marco Rubio is being challenged by Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings, Orlando’s former police chief. Rubio previously ran for president in 2016, dropping out to run for reelection to the Senate, which he did easily. But Demings, a House prosecutor during the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump, has shown a proficiency for fundraising, collecting millions more than Rubio. This race is close, with an average of recent polls indicating Rubio is up by three points and well within the margin of error for most voter surveys.Florida attorney generalRepublican incumbent Ashley Moody is being challenged by Democratic primary winner Aramis Ayala. Ayala is the former Circuit Nine (Orange and Osceola counties) state attorney, who generated headlines in 2017 when she decided not to seek the death penalty in any case. Then-Gov. Rick Scott stripped her of several dozen murder cases and handed them to a neighboring state attorney. When Ayala took Scott to court, she lost. She said she will now follow and uphold the law, even in capital murder cases. Moody has been spending a lot of time helping to support DeSantis’ conservative agenda by filing appeals when he signs controversial bills into law and they’re later challenged in court.CongressSeventh District: This district is one of two open seats, thanks to the decision by Democrat Stephanie Murphy not to seek reelection. It covers all of Seminole County, a small portion of Orange and southern Volusia counties. The Republican is Army veteran and business owner Cory Mills. The Democratic candidate is Karen Green, a minister and former cruise industry executive. Previously, the 7th Congressional District was neutral to slightly Democrat in voter registration. After redistricting under DeSantis, the district now leans Republican.Tenth District: This is the other central Florida open congressional seat, thanks to the decision by Demings to run for U.S. Senate. This race had the largest field of any congressional race in Florida heading into the primary election in August. The major party nominees are progressive activist Democrat Maxwell Frost and Republican, and former Army green beret, Col. Calvin Wimbish. This district was previously considered a minority opportunity district, which leaned heavily African-American. After the district maps were redrawn by DeSantis, the 10th Congressional District remained a Democratic voter plurality but with fewer voters of color and more white Democrats. There are two independent or NPA (no party affiliate) candidates in this race, Jason Holic and Usha Jain.State SenateTenth District: This redrawn district includes all of Seminole County and a small portion of Orange County, including Winter Park and Maitland. This is essentially the former 9th District, currently held by state Sen. Jason Brodeur, so he is considered the incumbent. His challenger is Democratic state Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil. This will be a race to watch, given recent reports by WESH 2 News and other news organizations that Brodeur allegedly knew about a 2020 scheme to front a “ghost” candidate in the Senate race he won that year.The allegations come from disgraced former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who told Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents that Brodeur “absolutely” knew about and helped plan the scheme to use an independent candidate to try and siphon votes from the Democrat in Brodeur’s race. Brodeur, who is the president of the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce, has repeatedly denied any involvement in a ghost candidate plot in his race or any other, despite the infusion of Republican dark money in the 2020 race; the recent conviction of Brodeur’s former employee at the chamber — Ben Paris (who is also Longwood’s former mayor and the current chair of the Seminole County Republican executive committee) — and the arrests of two others, including 2020 independent candidate Jestine Iannotti.Florida House RacesLake County/25th District – This is an open seat covering a big chunk of Lake County, including Clermont, Groveland, Minneola, Astatula and Montverde, all the way down to the Four Corners area. It presents a chance for an independent, or no-party affiliate candidate to serve in Tallahassee. NPA Banks Helfrich has been a chair of the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, and while not a Democrat, his website says he is pro-choice. He’s an independent filmmaker and has other entertainment business credentials. Republican Taylor Yarkosky is a business owner and operator, an NRA member and a licensed firearms instructor who espouses conservative principles. He won a four-way GOP primary in August.Volusia County/29th District 29 – This District covers areas in and around DeLand, Deltona, Lake Helen, Osteen and the Spruce Creek Fly-in. The Republican incumbent is Webster Barnaby, who beat his primary opponent, Elizabeth Fetterhoff, by 30 votes, in what turned out to be Florida’s closest House race in the August primary. The British-born Barnaby, who became an American citizen in 1998, is the only Black Republican in the Florida Legislature. He faces Democrat Rick Karl, the former director of the Daytona Beach International Airport. He’s also an attorney, focusing on business matters.Brevard County/33rd District – This District spans much of the heavily populated mid-to-southern portion of the county, covering Palm Bay and areas of Melbourne near and south of the International Airport, stretching from the beach to the Osceola county line.The incumbent is Republican Randy Fine, a former gambling industry executive who sponsored the bill to dismantle Disney’s governing power through its Reedy Creek Improvement District. He also joined House Republicans in passing a measure (CS/HB 1475), which disallows transgender girls from competing on public school female sports teams. He’s also made the protection of the Indian River Lagoon system a priority. Fine is facing Democrat and Brevard county real estate agent Anthony Yantz. His focus is on making housing more affordable in the coastal county.Seminole County House RacesThis is really a county to watch every State House race carefully since registered Republicans only outnumber Democrats by 2,000, and there is nearly an equal number of independents.District 36 – This district covers parts of Sanford, Lake Mary, Longwood, Winter Springs, and Geneva. The Republican candidate in this race is Rachel Plakon. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because her husband, Scott Plakon, is vacating the seat because of term limits. Rachel Plakon owns a real estate investment company and brokerage firm. The Democrat is Deborah Poulalian. She is currently a data analyst and researcher at a prominent Lake Mary company and previously taught journalism at Seminole State College.District 37 – This district is in parts of Seminole and Orange counties and includes the University of Central Florida and surrounding areas, Oviedo and the Econ River wilderness area. The Democrat is State Representative Carlos Guillermo-Smith, and openly gay lawmaker who won election to the Legislature just months after the Pulse nightclub massacre in June 2016. The Republican in this race is Susan Plasencia. She declined our invitation to both a primary and a general election debate and did not appear at a Tiger Bay Club debate, which was attended by Guillermo-Smith.District 38 – This District covers the cities of Altamonte Springs, Fern Park, Casselberry, and portions of Oviedo and Winter Springs, as well as some of the communities in and around Tuskawilla. Republican State Representative David Smith defeated two primary challengers to make it to the November election. He is a retired Marine Corps colonel and works as a business consultant in the training and simulation industry. Democrat Sarah Henry also defeated two primary opponents to make it to the general election ballot. She has degrees in political science and management of non-profit organizations.’District 39 – This District only includes a portion of southwest Seminole county and northwest Orange county in the areas of Apopka and Wekiva Springs State Park. The Democrat is Tiffany Hughes. She’s a business owner and previously served as the president of the Orange County NAACP, the youngest ever to have served in that role. The Republican is Doug Bankson, a commissioner on the Apopka City Council. He is also a minister and founder of Victory Church World Outreach Center. He’s also the former chair of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce.Orange/Osceola Counties House RacesDistrict 35 – This district covers part of East Orange County to the Brevard County line, and much of Osceola County, including Kissimmee and St. Cloud and areas south and east of that territory. The Republican is state Rep. Fred Hawkins, a former Osceola County Commissioner. The Democrat is Rishi Bagga, an attorney and former prosecutor, as well as a small business owner.District 45 – This district covers southwest Orange County, including Walt Disney World, Bay Hill, and Windermere and the tourist areas in northwest Orange county as well. The Republican is Carolina Amesty, who works as a vice president at Orlando’s Central Christian University, which was founded by her family. The democrat in this race is Allie Braswell, the former president of the Central Florida Urban League and currently a diversity, equity and inclusion executive with Vystar.Florida ballot amendmentsAmendment 1With images of Hurricane Ian’s aftermath, and the continued threat of flooding in homes and properties, Amendment 1 on the November ballot offers financial relief.The amendment is called “Limitation on Assessment of Real Property used for Residential Purposes.” In plain language, it provides “property tax savings on flood protection improvements,” so you won’t have to pay more for the increased value of your home.Amendment 2Amendment 2 wants voters to send this group of political appointees packing. A yes vote will “abolish the Constitution Revision Commission,” which meets every 20 years to put amendments on the ballot.The members are appointed by the governor, Senate president and House speaker. It was criticized in 2018 for bundling initiatives, getting voters to approve things like oil drilling and a vaping ban with just one vote.Amendment 3Amendment 3 would be a financial boon for the people who educate our kids and protect our communities and us.It provides an “additional homestead property tax exemption for specified critical public services workforce,” such as teachers, first responders, corrections officers, child welfare workers and military personnel.As always, you should read each amendment carefully on your sample ballot before voting yes or no.It takes 60% of the vote to pass any amendment to the state constitution.Orange County ballot measuresRent Stabilization OrdinanceThe ordinance would forbid some landlords from increasing their tenant’s monthly rent by a higher percentage than the annual increase of the consumer price index for a period of one year. The ordinance passed 4-3 in mid-August to get it on the November ballot. Read the full ordinance here.Transportation Sales TaxThe county is hoping voters will back changing the transportation landscape by approving a one-cent hike in the local sales tax. The proposal raises Orange County’s sales tax from 6.5% to 7.5%. Click here to read the full tax initiative.Related: A look at how transportation is changing in Central FloridaBrevard County ballot measuresBrevard County Affordable Housing Trust FundVoters will get to decide if the county charter–essentially the county constitution–will be changed so that a trust fund is set up to deal with the growing crisis. If the measure is voted in, the money put into the fund will stay there and can’t be reallocated. Read more about the proposal here.

Governor

This is a matchup of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Republican governor, and, most recently, former St. Petersburg Congressman, Charlie Crist. DeSantis has been driving a strongly conservative agenda, often attacking President Joe Biden’s administration on immigration and other issues. Crist has been an ardent supporter of the president and has made restoring abortion rights in Florida a top priority in his campaign. An average of recent polls has DeSantis ahead by six to seven points.

U.S. Senate

Republican two-term Sen. Marco Rubio is being challenged by Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings, Orlando’s former police chief. Rubio previously ran for president in 2016, dropping out to run for reelection to the Senate, which he did easily. But Demings, a House prosecutor during the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump, has shown a proficiency for fundraising, collecting millions more than Rubio. This race is close, with an average of recent polls indicating Rubio is up by three points and well within the margin of error for most voter surveys.

Florida attorney general

Republican incumbent Ashley Moody is being challenged by Democratic primary winner Aramis Ayala. Ayala is the former Circuit Nine (Orange and Osceola counties) state attorney, who generated headlines in 2017 when she decided not to seek the death penalty in any case. Then-Gov. Rick Scott stripped her of several dozen murder cases and handed them to a neighboring state attorney. When Ayala took Scott to court, she lost. She said she will now follow and uphold the law, even in capital murder cases. Moody has been spending a lot of time helping to support DeSantis’ conservative agenda by filing appeals when he signs controversial bills into law and they’re later challenged in court.

Congress

Seventh District: This district is one of two open seats, thanks to the decision by Democrat Stephanie Murphy not to seek reelection. It covers all of Seminole County, a small portion of Orange and southern Volusia counties. The Republican is Army veteran and business owner Cory Mills. The Democratic candidate is Karen Green, a minister and former cruise industry executive. Previously, the 7th Congressional District was neutral to slightly Democrat in voter registration. After redistricting under DeSantis, the district now leans Republican.

Tenth District: This is the other central Florida open congressional seat, thanks to the decision by Demings to run for U.S. Senate. This race had the largest field of any congressional race in Florida heading into the primary election in August. The major party nominees are progressive activist Democrat Maxwell Frost and Republican, and former Army green beret, Col. Calvin Wimbish. This district was previously considered a minority opportunity district, which leaned heavily African-American. After the district maps were redrawn by DeSantis, the 10th Congressional District remained a Democratic voter plurality but with fewer voters of color and more white Democrats. There are two independent or NPA (no party affiliate) candidates in this race, Jason Holic and Usha Jain.

State Senate

Tenth District: This redrawn district includes all of Seminole County and a small portion of Orange County, including Winter Park and Maitland. This is essentially the former 9th District, currently held by state Sen. Jason Brodeur, so he is considered the incumbent. His challenger is Democratic state Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil. This will be a race to watch, given recent reports by WESH 2 News and other news organizations that Brodeur allegedly knew about a 2020 scheme to front a “ghost” candidate in the Senate race he won that year.

The allegations come from disgraced former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who told Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents that Brodeur “absolutely” knew about and helped plan the scheme to use an independent candidate to try and siphon votes from the Democrat in Brodeur’s race. Brodeur, who is the president of the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce, has repeatedly denied any involvement in a ghost candidate plot in his race or any other, despite the infusion of Republican dark money in the 2020 race; the recent conviction of Brodeur’s former employee at the chamber — Ben Paris (who is also Longwood’s former mayor and the current chair of the Seminole County Republican executive committee) — and the arrests of two others, including 2020 independent candidate Jestine Iannotti.

Florida House Races

Lake County/25th District – This is an open seat covering a big chunk of Lake County, including Clermont, Groveland, Minneola, Astatula and Montverde, all the way down to the Four Corners area. It presents a chance for an independent, or no-party affiliate candidate to serve in Tallahassee. NPA Banks Helfrich has been a chair of the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, and while not a Democrat, his website says he is pro-choice. He’s an independent filmmaker and has other entertainment business credentials. Republican Taylor Yarkosky is a business owner and operator, an NRA member and a licensed firearms instructor who espouses conservative principles. He won a four-way GOP primary in August.

Volusia County/29th District 29 – This District covers areas in and around DeLand, Deltona, Lake Helen, Osteen and the Spruce Creek Fly-in. The Republican incumbent is Webster Barnaby, who beat his primary opponent, Elizabeth Fetterhoff, by 30 votes, in what turned out to be Florida’s closest House race in the August primary. The British-born Barnaby, who became an American citizen in 1998, is the only Black Republican in the Florida Legislature. He faces Democrat Rick Karl, the former director of the Daytona Beach International Airport. He’s also an attorney, focusing on business matters.

Brevard County/33rd District – This District spans much of the heavily populated mid-to-southern portion of the county, covering Palm Bay and areas of Melbourne near and south of the International Airport, stretching from the beach to the Osceola county line.

The incumbent is Republican Randy Fine, a former gambling industry executive who sponsored the bill to dismantle Disney’s governing power through its Reedy Creek Improvement District. He also joined House Republicans in passing a measure (CS/HB 1475), which disallows transgender girls from competing on public school female sports teams. He’s also made the protection of the Indian River Lagoon system a priority. Fine is facing Democrat and Brevard county real estate agent Anthony Yantz. His focus is on making housing more affordable in the coastal county.

Seminole County House Races

This is really a county to watch every State House race carefully since registered Republicans only outnumber Democrats by 2,000, and there is nearly an equal number of independents.

District 36 – This district covers parts of Sanford, Lake Mary, Longwood, Winter Springs, and Geneva. The Republican candidate in this race is Rachel Plakon. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because her husband, Scott Plakon, is vacating the seat because of term limits. Rachel Plakon owns a real estate investment company and brokerage firm. The Democrat is Deborah Poulalian. She is currently a data analyst and researcher at a prominent Lake Mary company and previously taught journalism at Seminole State College.

District 37 – This district is in parts of Seminole and Orange counties and includes the University of Central Florida and surrounding areas, Oviedo and the Econ River wilderness area. The Democrat is State Representative Carlos Guillermo-Smith, and openly gay lawmaker who won election to the Legislature just months after the Pulse nightclub massacre in June 2016. The Republican in this race is Susan Plasencia. She declined our invitation to both a primary and a general election debate and did not appear at a Tiger Bay Club debate, which was attended by Guillermo-Smith.

District 38 – This District covers the cities of Altamonte Springs, Fern Park, Casselberry, and portions of Oviedo and Winter Springs, as well as some of the communities in and around Tuskawilla. Republican State Representative David Smith defeated two primary challengers to make it to the November election. He is a retired Marine Corps colonel and works as a business consultant in the training and simulation industry. Democrat Sarah Henry also defeated two primary opponents to make it to the general election ballot. She has degrees in political science and management of non-profit organizations.’

District 39 – This District only includes a portion of southwest Seminole county and northwest Orange county in the areas of Apopka and Wekiva Springs State Park. The Democrat is Tiffany Hughes. She’s a business owner and previously served as the president of the Orange County NAACP, the youngest ever to have served in that role. The Republican is Doug Bankson, a commissioner on the Apopka City Council. He is also a minister and founder of Victory Church World Outreach Center. He’s also the former chair of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce.

Orange/Osceola Counties House Races

District 35 – This district covers part of East Orange County to the Brevard County line, and much of Osceola County, including Kissimmee and St. Cloud and areas south and east of that territory. The Republican is state Rep. Fred Hawkins, a former Osceola County Commissioner. The Democrat is Rishi Bagga, an attorney and former prosecutor, as well as a small business owner.

District 45 – This district covers southwest Orange County, including Walt Disney World, Bay Hill, and Windermere and the tourist areas in northwest Orange county as well. The Republican is Carolina Amesty, who works as a vice president at Orlando’s Central Christian University, which was founded by her family. The democrat in this race is Allie Braswell, the former president of the Central Florida Urban League and currently a diversity, equity and inclusion executive with Vystar.

Florida ballot amendments

Amendment 1

With images of Hurricane Ian’s aftermath, and the continued threat of flooding in homes and properties, Amendment 1 on the November ballot offers financial relief.

The amendment is called “Limitation on Assessment of Real Property used for Residential Purposes.” In plain language, it provides “property tax savings on flood protection improvements,” so you won’t have to pay more for the increased value of your home.

Amendment 2

Amendment 2 wants voters to send this group of political appointees packing. A yes vote will “abolish the Constitution Revision Commission,” which meets every 20 years to put amendments on the ballot.

The members are appointed by the governor, Senate president and House speaker. It was criticized in 2018 for bundling initiatives, getting voters to approve things like oil drilling and a vaping ban with just one vote.

Amendment 3

Amendment 3 would be a financial boon for the people who educate our kids and protect our communities and us.

It provides an “additional homestead property tax exemption for specified critical public services workforce,” such as teachers, first responders, corrections officers, child welfare workers and military personnel.

As always, you should read each amendment carefully on your sample ballot before voting yes or no.

It takes 60% of the vote to pass any amendment to the state constitution.

Orange County ballot measures

Rent Stabilization Ordinance

The ordinance would forbid some landlords from increasing their tenant’s monthly rent by a higher percentage than the annual increase of the consumer price index for a period of one year. The ordinance passed 4-3 in mid-August to get it on the November ballot. Read the full ordinance here.

Transportation Sales Tax

The county is hoping voters will back changing the transportation landscape by approving a one-cent hike in the local sales tax. The proposal raises Orange County’s sales tax from 6.5% to 7.5%. Click here to read the full tax initiative.

Related: A look at how transportation is changing in Central Florida

Brevard County ballot measures

Brevard County Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Voters will get to decide if the county charter–essentially the county constitution–will be changed so that a trust fund is set up to deal with the growing crisis. If the measure is voted in, the money put into the fund will stay there and can’t be reallocated. Read more about the proposal here.



Source link

Comments are closed.